The Baltimore Highlights Slideshow

by Corinna Kirsch and Whitney Kimball on July 25, 2014 · 1 comment Baltimore

Wherein we discuss the highs and lows (but mostly the highs) of the art we saw in Baltimore this weekend. On the docket: figurative painting, sea punk, and reindeer coming out of toilets.

Killian Barnes 1

Corinna: Friday night at the Annex, a studio building full of recent MICA grads: Baltimore-based artist Killian Barnes told us he’d planned on having a one-night only show of his recent paintings, but had decided to keep the studio open because of ArtScape weekend’s foot traffic. Barnes mentioned he’d only started painting again, recently; his art handling gigs don’t allow him much time to paint as much as he’d like.

barnes

Corinna: More on Barnes: These incredibly textured acrylic paintings were painted within the last several months, showing all sorts of unspoken male emotions through contorted poses and gestures; in one, a painting involving Tinder, the figure almost seems to have a monkey paw instead of a human hand. Many are self-portraits to some degree, although the sleeper in the image above is a friend of his, a well-known couch-surfer.

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Corinna: Also on view were drawings by Alexander Shaw and sculptures by Rachel Lowing. Whitney: Provisional painting is everywhere!

not actually a highlight just seapunk

Corinna: The Copycat building remains home to a number of galleries and artist studios. Though this seapunk painting isn’t actually a favorite of mine, it does point out some important issues of note to the Baltimore scene. Michael Farley, our Baltimore host and informal tour guide, mentioned that only recently have artists been picking up painting again. And most of what we saw seemed to showcase artists’ friends, which we were told was what this painter, Brooks Kossover, did. Baltimore is the type of place where you can’t walk a city block without your friends yelling out at you, asking you what noise show you were at last night and which late-night gig you’re going to later. Everyone knows each other, and they’re not afraid to be loud about it. Contrast this with the niceties of a nod on the New York subways, and you realize you’re in a much friendlier place.

Alan Resnick Springsteen Gallery

Springsteen Gallery should be a familiar name to y’all in New York; at the very least, you’ve seen them at all the art fairs. Baltimore’s Alan Resnick and Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez had quite a digital-themed show with Base Period. Here’s his video “Ebay Gazing Globes: Suffering Mask” (2014) featuring digital animation, found images of “gazing globes, and a 3-D scan of action Steve Izant. That’s his dead-looking visage on the circle that’s covered with a Photoshop transparency grid. With this work, I get the feeling that technology can transform the living into dead meat, just to be gawked at; Izant’s probably not a believer in the Singularity.

Whitney: A close up of Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez's 3D rendering, "Blender" which was part of his series at Springsteen. Like the work of artist Milton Melvin Croissant III (who was showing here last time we came down), it's electric apocalyptic beauty and junk consumerism that's impossible not to drool over. I kept thinking about how the planet is dying, and we're killing it with garbage crap. This picture creates a way for me to enjoy the crap again. It's really sad.

Whitney: A close up of Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez’s 3D rendering, “Blender” which was part of his series at Springsteen. Like the work of artist Milton Melvin Croissant III (who was showing here last time we came down), it’s electric, apocalyptic beauty and junk consumerism that’s impossible not to drool over. I kept thinking about how the planet is dying, and we’re killing it with garbage crap. This picture creates a way for me to enjoy the crap again. It’s really sad.

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Whitney: Also in Springteen were Resnick’s 3D oculus rift, “Koons’s Rabbit Reflections”. You are immersed in a shifting, 360-degree spherical view of different galleries and museums, and surrounded by 3D images of Koons’ rabbit and gazing ball sculptures. As you shift your head, different people pop up and take photos of you. It seemed to poke fun at how we now experience mega art shows wholly through cell phone screens – to the extent that art seems designed to be photogenic. At least I paused for a second before I took the shot.

brooklyn

Whitney: Here’s a great way to get people to look at your zine/artist book at an art fair. Brooklyn Art Gallery projected a page-by-page selection of artist books onto a sculpture of an open book. You can also watch them on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/100911913

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Corinna: We found this DIS Magazine-friendly, New Age-y video “Essentials of BHBITB: Nutrition, Habitation, Uniformation & Information” by Joshua Haycraft at the Sondheim Semi-Finalists Exhibition. The made-up organization, BHBITB, has a motto: Evolvere Privilegium. I talk more about this in our review of the exhibition, but anyway, this work was one of the more “contemporary” works on view, in the sense that it seemed like it was made recently instead of being a timeless formalist exercise.

Whitney: I'm not a huge art car enthusiast, but who would say no to a car with bald eagles painted all over it? Not I.

Whitney: I’m not a huge art car enthusiast, but who would say no to a car with bald eagles painted all over it? Not me.

Whitney: It's similarly hard to look away from Lindsey Bailey's "Untitled ('It sounds like venomous')", just because it's a giant declaration that Feminism is Stupid. Bailey asked people between the ages of 5 and 18 to define feminism, and these are their answers. The more I look at this, the more it grows on me; according to the wall text, the kids told Bailey that they preferred gender equality to feminism, but it seems like we'll never get that so long as feminism is unattractive.

Whitney: It’s similarly hard to look away from Lindsey Bailey’s “Untitled (‘It sounds like venomous’),” just because it’s a giant declaration that feminism is stupid. Bailey asked people between the ages of 5 and 18 to define feminism, and these are their answers. The more I look at this, the more it grows on me; according to the wall text, the kids told Bailey that they preferred gender equality to feminism, but it seems like we’ll never get that so long as feminism seems unattractive.

Corinna: On Saturday morning I met up with my great uncle who's taught photography at MICA since the 1970s. He's not really into the contemporary art scene, so we went out to the American Visionary Art Museum. Think of a museum for outsider art, but with a more spiritual bent, and you're halfway there to imagining what the Visionary is like. Here, we see "Robotmas," an installation by Kenny Irwin, Jr.; it's an attempt at imagining what Christmas would look like if shared between humans and robots.

Corinna: On Saturday morning I met up with my great uncle who’s taught photography at MICA since the 1970s. He’s not really into the contemporary art scene, so we went out to the American Visionary Art Museum. Think of a museum for outsider art, but with a more spiritual bent, and you’re halfway there to imagining what the Visionary is like. Here, we see “Robotmas,” an installation by Kenny Irwin, Jr.; it’s an attempt at imagining a Christmas shared between humans and robots. Outside this installation, the artist had devised an entire storyline about the Pakistani Starfleet, which somehow relates to Robotmas. You know, we all want artists to have their own particular vision, or system of seeing the world; I appreciate this particularly kooky vision of making art that doesn’t look like fine art and adhering to your own, however irrational, beliefs.

Whitney: Nicholas Hoegberg's "Crossing Streams" makes the highlights slideshow. We are predictable.

Whitney: Nicholas Hoegberg’s “Crossing Streams” makes the highlights slideshow. We are predictable.

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